Lately it seems as if some of the demons I’ve been fighting have headed for the hills (at least for the time being) and as a result, I’m finding myself unencumbered by many of the anxieties that kick sand in my face.
One of the effects of my being (mostly) off anyone’s grid is that I’ve taken a hiatus from social network comings and goings. The irony is not lost on me that I’m about to detail my vacation from Facebook and inevitably, I’ll wax anxious about the ever-increasing Internet convergence on this site, which is linked-in to my Google account (which can access damn near anything from Youtube to allowing me to comment on most any site) and God-knows-what-else-from-there. I used to think to myself “does a person even actually exist these days if he/she doesn’t have a Myspace account?” Now I ask myself “does anyone remember Myspace?” I was first introduced to Myspace as a way to promote and network my musical endeavors, which became quite successful. It was like a paradigm shifted from the “old-fashioned” Internet where all the sites were self-contained to a version of having everything linked together, and that was just a few years ago. 2006 or ’07, to be more precise.
When I finally got into the cult of Facebook, I warmed to it a little slower than most folks I knew who encouraged my complicity. Right away, I was able to connect with bands and pickin’ buddies that I’d not seen in awhile (much like I could on Myspace, which I was still using a bit at the time) but the whole idea of checking it multiple times in a single day hadn’t dawned on me yet. I started using the thing more and more in the last couple of years and while my addiction wasn’t as harsh as some, it was definitely there. To-do lists suddenly featured reminders to post various thises and thats to ye olde FB. My Facebooking (years ago, I never thought I’d use this verb) came to a head last summer when I wasn’t keeping regular contact with a lot of folks. Instead, the world of Facebook was my window to their goings on, up until late September.
What began as a response to an unintentional shirking of a favor for a friend turned into an act that left many people probably wondering if I’d kicked the bucket, joined a cult and dropped off the map or was abducted by aliens. Yes, I’m writing of the Facebook embargo. Not for nothing are there terms like “digital detox” existent in the current cultural lexicon, and after I stepped away from the vampire of time that is the Book of Face, I certainly felt the sting of withdrawal. I mean, what was life without random FB logins to fill empty spaces? The idea of adjusting to such madness certainly seemed daunting, but over time, I found myself not missing the idea of being “plugged-in” to a social network. Sure, there are many friends on Facebook whose posts I enjoy reading, but it was beyond time due for me to go demon slaying. Being locked-into a grid of ever-converging digital social interaction didn’t bode well for my increasing anxieties at the time at all.
I won’t go into too deeply into detail here. I’m sure I will at some point provide a chronicle of a difficult fall and winter, but the nut-cut of today is this: I’m feeling a lot better. Best I’ve felt in eons, and with better mental health I feel like I can take on the world…or at least leave my house. Hell, I might even re-enter the world of Facebook in the next few days, with a lengthy essay to post to assure the folks my name is still Chris Edwards and I’ve not been in the witness protection program, or hiding in a cave, or dumped in the desert by little green men or whatever other outlandish theories could be hatched by those who spend too much time on the Internet (or flipping through the magazines in the checkout line).
In the meantime, I’ve managed to take a voyage on the Twitter comet (something I told myself I’d never do when it first came into vogue, but is now necessary for musicians, or so I’m told) and I’ve even managed to maintain an Instagram page, which my girlfriend began for me. Aside from that, my sweet friend and booking agent Ms. Beth has helped spread word about the few gigs I’ve played during my time in the wilderness and I’ve managed to stay fairly productive while holed-up in the house, writing music and what-not, and while I’m not quite feeling like the king of the mountain exactly, I think 2014 will rock like boulders.
Live wrong and perspire!